Why Traveling Abroad is Important for Quarter Lifers
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
Quarter Lifers, this one is for you — I hope by the end of this you will have a fresh ambition to travel, or a reignited desire to get out and explore as much of this beautiful world as you can.
For those who have traveled, it’s hard to explain. For those who haven’t, it’s hard to distinguish it’s importance.
Many people spend their lives dreaming of globetrotting, but never do it. Some have ties at home that can’t be avoided. Others simply have different priorities. But if there is one thing in this life that I would encourage you to do — it’s travel.
Growing up in the so called ‘millennial’ generation, we were exposed to the advancement of technology and the evolution of social media. Which developed and grew so quickly that it became normal for pre-teens to have smartphones and tablets when all we had was super soakers and yo-yos.
How times change.
The worlds first cell phone call was made in 1973. Barcodes weren’t used until a year later in 1974. The first portable music player was invented in the 1980s. The ‘World Wide Web’ was launched in 1989. Facebook was invented in a dorm room in 2004, yet didn’t become readily available for public use until 2006. And now? You can pay for your shopping with your iPhone. Staggering.
With that, the ability to travel has become much easier and a lot more attractive to what I describe as ‘Quarter Lifers’; anyone in their twenties who find life mundane and uninteresting.
And not only is travel easier and more accessible, it has become a common thing to do when preparing for the transition from ‘Quarter Life’ to ‘real adulting’.
Maybe for those people like me, travel is an escape from the harsh reality of routine and normality.
From my experience of traveling, I have found that being completely thrust in to an unfamiliar environment has been the making of who I am as a person.
The first time I traveled, I went to London for a few weeks. Not really a big deal for some people, but for me it was a massive learning experience that prepared me for the big bad world.
5 years later, I’ve lived and worked on three continents, job hopping every few months in the hope of earning enough money to go on another adventure.
You see, for those who travel, it is a breakaway from the routine of normal life. Some may describe traveling as a journey, and in my eyes, I see it as not just a physical journey, but also a personal one.
When people come back from traveling, they have stories that they will be able to tell their grandchildren, and memories that will be etched in their hearts for the rest of their lives.
They have experienced things that some people may never experience in a lifetime, because they took a risk and packed their suitcase, leaving everything and everyone behind in search for more.
In search of more than normality and routine; in search of new cultural experiences and friendships that will stand the test of time.
Completely exposing themselves in places that are unfamiliar, but places that when they leave, they long to return to.
For those who travel, they bring themselves on a personal journey that will never really end, because there will always be that hunger for more adventure. And one could be forgiven for always dreaming of where they will go next.
Traveling can uncover one’s purpose and help you realise what you want to do with your life — it is one of the greatest investments you can make in yourself, personally and professionally.
It helps you to understand how wonderful home is — when you’ve been away from the surroundings that you’re used to, it’s nice to return and enjoy the familiarity of home life.
And if you travel to an underprivileged country or work in an disadvantaged society, then you will realise how luxurious it is to have a warm bed, clean clothes and running water.
If you travel to a country in which your mother tongue is not commonly used, then it can be difficult to adapt and get used to your surroundings.
In reality, traveling the world is a blessing, and as the famous saying goes, ‘the world is a book, and those who do not travel only read one page’. Write your own book — record your adventures, and one day you’ll look back at them with pride and happiness in the knowledge that you were not afraid to be different or take risks.
And you will realise that your life journey will be best measured in memories and friendships rather than miles and distance.
At the tender age of 24, one would hope they have their whole lives in front of them and have plenty of time to focus on their family and career.
But in reality, the longing for travel is something that truly stays with you for life. It will never go away, and it is only going to be cured by exploration and adventure.
Originally published at mydiaryofaquarterlifer.wordpress.com on March 29, 2017.